Via Mediaite and the Washington Free Beacon, any clip that includes a tribute to the singular genius of Al Sharpton is an instant classic. Vintage MSNBC here — hyperbolic, in analogizing post-apartheid national reconciliation to partisan politics; demagogic, in treating congressional Republicans as a step down from racial segregationists; and exploitative, using Mandela’s death to accuse the Senate minority leader, who’s brokered more than one deal to end a debt-ceiling standoff, of wanting to destroy the country because he said defeating Obama was his top goal. (This isn’t the first time an MSNBC host has treated the death of a beloved public figure as a pretext to attack Republicans.) Remember as you watch that this guy, for whom all of this is par for the course, was handpicked by the White House to the emcee the president’s ObamaCare infomercial on MSNBC last night. They didn’t choose him because of his habit of smearing the right — more than anything, they wanted someone whom they knew would play pattycake with Obama at a low moment in his presidency when more self-respecting journalists wouldn’t — but it was no obstacle.
Ace thinks that Obama’s biggest fans view politics these days as a movie in which Obama’s the hero and whatever policy goal he happens to be chasing at a given moment is the MacGuffin. Doesn’t matter what it is; what keeps the narrative going is that he wants it and that there are villains trying to keep him from it. There’s something to that, especially in the case of overweening fanboys like Matthews who’ve compared O before explicitly to a character in a Horatio Alger story. It’s certainly true of Hopenchange circa 2008, when Obama was selling himself mainly as a post-partisan pragmatist whose identity and sunny optimism were way more important than any particular policy. Nowadays, though, with O-Care falling apart and the left fatigued from having to largely hold its tongue about things like drone strikes and “kill lists,” I think the movie’s less about Obama’s heroic quest and more about the alleged villany of the GOP. He’s still the hero but more by default, because he’s the leader of the party that’s going to stop the villains from, ahem, destroying the country. To borrow Ace’s analogy, we’re at the stage of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” now where Indy’s tied to the pole, not doing much of anything, and the lefty audience really just wants to see the Nazis’ faces get melted off. That’s what MSNBC is for.